Nairobi, Kenya, May 9, 2017— IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, today announced a $10 million loan to Fertiplant
East Africa Ltd to enable the company to set up a fertilizer plant in Kenya.
The plant will supply locally produced fertilizer at affordable prices,
helping farmers improve crop yields and their incomes. Better productivity
of staple food crops will also be critical to food security in the region,
which is currently suffering from drought.
East Africa’s economy is mainly agrarian, with more than 65 percent of
its people dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods. Over 80 percent
of the food in the region comes from small holders – farmers with less
than 2 hectares of land. Many farmers in the region have limited access
to high quality fertilizers, due to high costs. Mismatches between fertilizer
and crop type, as well as lack of knowledge on fertilizer use compound
the problem. Fertilizer application rates in Sub Saharan Africa are far
lower than global averages, in some cases, as low as 10 percent of recommended
levels. Crop yields and food production suffer as a result.
The new plant, which will be built in Nakuru, in Kenya’s Central Rift
Valley, will produce 100,000 tons of fertilizer per year. The project is
expected to create hundreds of jobs both during construction and operation.
Titus Gitau, Executive Director of Fertiplant, said, “The partnership
with IFC is the culmination of MEA Fertilizers’ forty-year journey to
transform and make regional agriculture rewarding and sustainable. We
believe that profitable agriculture is the only way to sustain rural Africa
and the Fertiplant factory through employing modern technology and advising
on modern farming practices. It is our hope that by using our tailor made
fertilizers and other modern practices like mechanization and seed development;
farmers will boost their crop yields and close the gap between actual and
Hans Peter Lankes, IFC Vice President for Development Economics, said “IFC’s
investment in Fertiplant is part of our strategy to promote development
and competitiveness of East Africa’s agricultural sector. Responsible
fertilizer companies like Fertiplant can support farmers, create jobs and
increase food security in the region.”
Part of IFC’s investment will be provided through the Global Agriculture
and Food Security Program. Donor partners to the program are the governments
of Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. This
funding makes it possible for IFC to support projects with strong focus
on food security and poverty reduction.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working
with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to
create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments
in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital,
expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty
and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
Fertiplant is East Africa’s first Fertilizer granulation plant located
in Nakuru Kenya with an annual capacity of 100,000 MT. It will allow for
East African farmers to have access to cheaper and tailor made fertilizers
combinations helping boost food and crop production and hopefully address
perennial issues of food security and spur growth of agricultural based
industries. It will serve farmers in the greater East Africa including
Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia.
Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP)
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program is a multilateral mechanism
to assist in the implementation of pledges made by the global community
to support country-led investment plans. GAFSP Private Sector Window (PSW)
plays a catalytic role by supporting private sector investment projects
and promoting sustainable agriculture in developing countries. GAFSP aims
to improve the livelihoods of SMEs and small hold farmers through sustainable
solutions to improve access to finance and reduce risks in agriculture.
GAFSP is funded by six donors including Australia, the Netherlands, Canada,
Japan, United Kingdom through DFID, and the United States.